Careless Talk was the second story in the Bernice Summerfield anthology Life During Wartime. It was written by Justin Richards.

Summary[edit | edit source]

Benny is at loose ends. She can't see Peter. Her non-human students have been separated from the humans. When Bev Tarrant invites Benny to join the resistance, she decides to go. Before she leaves, Joseph has a message for her from Brax: "The Axis know."

In a nearby cellar, Bev tries to call the resistance to order. There is quite a lot of bickering, however, that includes Ms Jones, Mister Crofton, Vosta Dankasta and Oliver Norman. Benny hurries into the room, warning the others that the Axis is coming.

Several people make for the stairs. As several Axis soldiers appear, Benny and Bev hide in an alcove. Vosta is caught by a soldier and slapped when he tries to explain himself. Benny is shocked to see Jason accompanying the soldiers, but Bev thinks Jason is the one who betrayed them.

What's left of the resistance meets for lunch. Most of those who were arrested were let go with just a warning, and have quit the resistance.

Benny asks for and is given permission to visit Brax. Security Officer Klarzen joins them. Brax informs Benny that Klarzen is looking for the Oracle of the Lost concealed in the Small Trianon.

The resistance meet in Vosta's rooms. They accuse Benny of betraying them. Ashley Lawrence set a trap for Benny that the resistance thinks is proof of her betrayal. Bev wants Benny to kill herself, but when Benny tries to leave, she is tackled and beaten by the others. Vosta pulls them off Benny, sobbing that it isn't her.

The next day, Benny tells Vosta that the Oracle is located in the Small Trianon, and the Axis want it for its ability to give out advance information. With the trap set, Bev sneaks in and lays charges around the Oracle. She is stopped by the Axis and Brax, but she escapes.

Klarzen angrily confronts Brax and Benny, stating he knows the Oracle is a fake. The Axis have tested it and it doesn't work. He forces Brax to show him the device that Brax used to send fake information.

The resistance has realised that the Axis has set up a sensor net around the Collection — that is how their plans were discovered. They are now concerned with mapping out the areas where the sensor net doesn't work.

Back in her rooms, Benny discusses the Oracle with Joseph. Joseph helped Brax alter the Oracle so that it would give out fake prophecies. Now the Axis think it's useless, when in fact it is a powerful sentient. Benny orders Joseph to erase everything in his database regarding that mission. She wishes she could forget too.

Characters[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  • Benny drinks tea with Brax.
  • Bev sends Benny a message concealed in an apple.

Notes[edit | edit source]

to be added

Continuity[edit | edit source]

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